Looking ahead to the looming offseason, here are five big questions for the Detroit Lions to answer.
After the clock hits zeroes at Ford Field on Sunday, the Detroit Lions will officially begin their 2022 offseason. With at best a 3-13-1 record, pending the result of that game against the Green Bay Packers, Dan Campbell’s first year as head coach will clearly go down as the the first year of a rebuild as a new culture is trying to be set.
The 2022 offseason will be about continuing to build the roster, with winning more games next season an obvious and attainable goal. Two first-round picks in April’s draft and a solid amount of cap space puts them in good position to fortify the roster, and lay a wider foundation for the future.
The Lions have plenty of things to consider during the offseason, and questions to answer. Here are five big questions that will need to be answered.
5 big questions for the Detroit Lions this offseason
5. T.J. Hockenson contract extension?
Hockenson’s 2021 season ended early due to a thumb injury. But he had another good season (61 catches for 583 yards in 12 games), he was a Pro Bowler in 2020 and he is among the best tight ends in the NFL.
As a 2019 first-round pick, Hockenson is eligible for a contract extension this offseason (on Jan. 10, technically). The Lions can kick the can a bit on an extension by picking up his fifth-year option, projected to be worth $9.3 million, but a multi-year deal is definitely in play to keep a core piece of Detroit’s offense around awhile. Picking up the option should be a no-brainer.
Hockenson’s injury will not impact him long-term. So it really comes down to when he signs a multi-year deal, not if. And if the Lions will pony up to make him among the 5-10 highest paid tight ends in the league, which is his market value, or just pick up the option and risk losing him in 2024 the more time passes without a long-term deal done. The contract extension question with Hockenson can be answered quickly, or not.